Allegheny College handles sexual misconduct cases within its student body with strict authority. The College upholds a policy against all forms of sexual misconduct. The College will make use of a similar complaint and resolution procedure for resolving instances of sexual misconduct to what is used for standard misconduct. However, sexual misconduct cases at the College are characterized by greater scrutiny being applied to the complaint and the complaint's adjudication.
Sexual Misconduct Process At Allegheny College
When a student files a complaint against another for a violation of sexual misconduct, the Title IX disciplinary process is initiated. The student who files the complaint will be called the "complainant," while the student that faces allegations will be called the "respondent." The Title IX Coordinator will first reach out to the respondent to notify them of the allegations they are facing. The respondent will also be notified of the potential choices for resolution of the matter. While proceedings are being decided upon, the College may deem it necessary to impose certain interim measures on the respondent if it is believed that the respondent poses a threat to the investigation or to the College community. These measures can include a temporary suspension, relocation from housing, or changes to class schedules.
Informal resolutions are offered when the Title IX Coordinator believes it such resolution to be appropriate. The goal is for a quick and efficient resolution to the complaints. Outcomes can include counseling programs, training programs, or other remedial measures taken by the College. Any instances of sexual violence will not be resolved using this method. Complaints that do not reach resolution through the informal process will be addressed through the formal resolution process.
The formal resolution process will begin with the initiation of a formal investigation into the matters. The investigator will be assigned by the College Title IX Coordinator, and will begin by meeting with both the complainant and respondent. The investigator will also meet with witnesses as necessary, or at the suggestion of either party. There may be further meetings with all the parties to gain clarification into the matters. Each party will also be given the opportunity to respond to information presented by the other party. Once the investigator has gathered enough information, an investigative report will be generated. The Title IX Coordinator will review the results of the investigation and make a decision using the standard of "a preponderance of evidence" to determine whether a violation has taken place.
Students facing sexual misconduct allegations may be accompanied by an advisor of their own choosing throughout the Title IX investigative and hearing process. Sexual misconduct allegations are particularly serious in nature, and can carry long-term negative consequences for a student. For this reason, an attorney should be selected to serve as an advisor throughout this process. An attorney can help protect a student's rights during the investigation and can also serve as a guide to students through any adverse consequences that may follow the initial reporting of the allegations at Allegheny College.
Appeals at Allegheny College
If a student receives an unfavorable outcome from the investigative process, an appeal may be made. The reasoning for appeal must be specified in writing. Appeals must be submitted within five (5) business days.